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Marilyn Monroe : An Icon in Furs


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Marilyn Monroe an Icon in Fur


I have always associated Marilyn Monroe with Fur, in this post I am trying to consider how that association was created, reinforced and reinterpreted both by Marilyn herself and by successor celebrities that play with, or off of the Marilyn image.



Marilyn Monroe in White Fox collage


(Large image click on thumbnail to full size image )


The collage above captures some of the more memorable images I associate with Marilyn Monroe in white fox. Arguable Marilyn Monroe was one of the most photographed women of the 20 th century and her wearing fur became a powerful part of her cultural identity. Thinking about this for some time I find it is often possible to decode the context of a picture of Marilyn based on the fur she is wearing her dress and her hairstyle. In order to understand the "Symbology" of these elements and to place these images in context it helpful to know a little bit about Monroe's life, her movies and the photographers who took many of the picture we have today.


Marilyn Monroe : A Brief Biography


Marilyn Monroe (Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962; baptized Norma Jeane Baker)

American actress, singer, model, and film producer.




"No, no serious interests, but I'm always interested." - Marilyn Monroe


"I'm so many people, sometimes I wish I was just me." -Marilyn Monroe


‘I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.’ - Marilyn Monroe


" I don't mind living in A Men's world, as long as I can be A Woman in it" -Marilyn Monroe



"Norma Jean Baker, better known as Marilyn Monroe, experienced a disrupted, loveless childhood that included two years at an orphanage at the height of the great depression. In 1933 when Norma Jean, (born on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California,) was seven years old, her mother, Gladys (Monroe) Baker Mortenson, was hospitalized for treatment of paranoid schizophrenic, a severe mental condition that would plague her the rest of her life. With no one to care for Norma, she was left in a series of foster homes and the Los Angeles Orphans' Home Society. The constant move from one foster home to another resulted in Norma's irregular educational background and contributed to her emotional insecurity. ( Summers, Anthony (1985). Goddess, The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe. Guild Publishing, London. ISBN 0-575-03641-9.)


Tough times and little support

Marilyn Monroe was a native Cailfornian, born in the Los Angeles County Hospital,[3] the third child born to Gladys Pearl Monroe (1902-1984).[4]

Monroe's birth certificate names the father as Edward Mortensen, a Norwegian, with his residence stated as "unknown", When Mortensen died, at the age of 85, Monroe's birth certificate together with her parents' marriage and divorce documents were discovered that proved that she was born legitimate. [9] Throughout her life, Marilyn Monroe consistently denied that Mortensen was her father.[6] She said that when she was a child, she was shown a photograph of a man that Gladys Monroe identified as her father. She remembered that he had a thin moustache and somewhat resembled Clark Gable, and that she had amused herself by pretending that Clarke Gable was her father, but never determined her father's true identity.[6][10] Mentally unstable and financially unable to care for Norma Jeane, Gladys placed her with foster parents Albert and Ida Bolender of Hawthorne, California, where she lived until she was seven. In her autobiography My Story (co-authored with screenwriter and novelist Ben Hecht,)[11] Monroe stated she believed that the Bolenders were her parents until Ida corrected her. After that Norma Jeane referred to them as Aunt & Uncle.

During one of her weekly visits, Gladys told Norma Jeane that she had bought a house for them, and Norma Jeane was allowed to move in with her mother. A few months after moving in, Gladys suffered a breakdown. In My Story, Monroe recalls her mother forcibly removed to the State Hospital. Monroe was declared a ward of the state, and Gladys's best friend, Grace McKee, became her guardian. It was Grace that had told Monroe that someday she would become "...an important woman... a movie star". Grace McKee was captivated by Jean Harlow, and would let Norma Jeane wear makeup and take her out to get her hair curled. They would go to the movies together, forming the basis for Norma Jeane's life long fascination with the cinema and the stars on screen.


Foster Care Physical and Emotional Abuse

After Grace McKee married Ervin Silliman Goddard in 1935, the 9 year-old Monroe was sent to the Los Angeles Orphans Home, (later renamed Hollygrove), and then to a succession of foster homes. Two years later Grace took Norma Jeane back to live with herself, Goddard and one of Goddard's daughters from a previous marriage. When Ervin Goddard tried to molest Norma Jeane, Grace sent her to live with her great aunt, Olive Brunings. Norma Jeane was assaulted by one of Olive's sons at the age of 12 and then went on to live with Grace's aunt, Ana Lower. When Ana developed health problems, Norma Jeane went back to live with Grace & Ervin Goddard, where she met a neighbor's son, Jim Dougherty, and soon began a relationship with him.


First Marriage

Early in 1942 at the beginning of world war II Grace and her husband were forced to move East and could not take Norma Jeane. Another family wanted to adopt Norma Jeane, but Gladys would not allow it. Grace then approached a neighbor suggesting that her son, James Dougherty, could marry Norma Jeane so that she would not have to return to an orphanage or foster care, and in June 1942, they were married. While Norma married James Dougherty,in her autobiography that she did not feel like a wife; she enjoyed playing with the neighborhood children until her husband would call her home. Her marriage would all but end when he joined the U.S. Merchant Marines in 1943. Though her difficult childhood and early failed marriage would make Norma Jean a strong and resilient woman, these experiences would also add to her insecurities and flaws—things that would ultimately shape her into a great tragic figure of the twentieth century.


War Time work

During World War II, Norma Jean worked at the Radio Plane Company in Van Nuys, California, but she was soon discovered by photographers. She enrolled in a three-month modeling course, and in 1946, aware of her considerable charm and the potential it had for a career in films, Norma obtained a divorce from Dougherty. She then headed for Hollywood, where Ben Lyon, head of casting at Twentieth Century Fox, arranged a screen test. On August 26, 1946, she signed a one hundred twenty-five dollar a week, one-year contract with the studio. Ben Lyon was the one who suggested a new name for the young actress—Marilyn Monroe.


Modeling and first acting roles


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Marilyn_ermine_bikini.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_lovehappymarilyn.jpg[/image]


click on images above to see full size images )

Marilyn models an ermine bikini . Early PR pictures feature Marilyn Monroe in a fur bikini, as seen above. Marilyn is making a transition form from model to starlet



Early Hollywood Experience

It was agreed that she would change her name. Lyon told her that she reminded him of the actress Marilyn Miller and she took her grandmother's name of Monroe as her surname.[13] She appeared in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! and Dangerous Years (both 1947), but when her contract was not renewed, she returned to modeling. She attempted to find opportunities for film work, and while unemployed she posed for nude photographs. These were originally published in a pin up Calendar and would later be published as a centerfold in the first Issue of Playboy magazine. (see Marilyn as the Ist Playboy Covergirl below)



In 1948 Monroe signed a six-month contract with Columbia Pictures, and was introduced to the studio's head drama coach, Natasha Lytess, who became her acting coach for several years.[14] She starred in the low-budget musical, Ladies of the Chorus, but the film was not a success, and her contract was not renewed.[15] She appeared in a small role in the Marx Brothers film Love Happy (1949) and impressed the producers, who sent her to New York to feature in the film's promotional campaign.[16]


Paying Her Dues

Filmography of Marilyn Monroe the early years


Year / Movie Title / Role / Director


1947 / The Shocking Miss Pilgrim /Telephone Operator (uncredited) /George Seaton

1947 / Dangerous Years /Evie /Arthur Pierson

1948 / You Were Meant for Me /Flapper (uncredited) / Lloyd Bacon

1948 / Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! /Betty (uncredited) /Hugh Herbert

1948 / Green Grass of Wyoming /Square Dancer (uncredited) / Louis King

1948 / Ladies of the Chorus /Peggy Martin / Phil Karfson

1949 / Love Happy /Grunion's Client (uncredited) /David Miller

1950 / A Ticket to Tomahawk / Clara (uncredited) /Richard Sale

1950 / Right Cross /Dusky Ledoux (uncredited) /John Sturges

1950 / The Fireball' /Polly / Tay Garnett

(source IMDB accessed 11/07/08)


Starlet to Star : A Transition Signaled with Furs



First screen role in fur : Love Happy

When legendary agent Johnny Hyde, first saw Marilyn in Love Happy (a Marx Bros vehicle) and he shrewdly offered to to represent her. Marilyn made a big impression with limited screen time in this film

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_LH01.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_LH07.jpg[/image]


Hyde connected Marilyn with mainstream Hollywood. In a coup he arranged for her to audition for John Huston, who cast her in the drama The Asphalt Jungle,opposite Louis Calahern where Marilyn played the role of a young mistress of an aging criminal. Her performance brought strong reviews,[16] and in turn her performance came to the attention of writer and director, Herman Mankiewicz.


Mankiewiciz at Hyde's suggestion selected Monroe for a small comedic role in All About Eve, as Miss Caswell, an aspiring actress, described by another character as a student of "The Copacabana School of Dramatic Art". Mankiewicz later commented that he had seen an innocence in her that he found appealing, and that this had confirmed his belief in her suitability for the role.[17] Following Monroe's success in these roles, Hyde negotiated a seven-year contract for her with 20th Century Fox, shortly before his death in December 1950.


All About Eve Screen Caps : Demure in White Mink

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The first image above is a promotional still that would have been used to advertise the movie at the theater. These still pictures were supposed to be returned to the studios after the films run. It is interesting to me that Marilyn is the only actress in fur and she is wearing a white mink. These screen captures also show a strong light dark contrast between Marilyn and Bette Davis. Marilyn also wears opera lung white gloves as a contrast to Davis and Anne Baxter.


Following All about Eve Monroe enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles studying literature and art appreciation, [19] and appeared in several minor films playing opposite such long-established performers as Mickey Rooney, Constance Bennett, June Allyson, Dick Powell and Claudette Colbert.[20] In March 1951 her rising star status was acknowledged by the Screen Actors Guild when she appeared as a presenter at the 23rd Academy Awards ceremony.


Marilyn Monroe Starlet in White Mink

The pictures below were taken by photographer Frank Powolny when Marilyn was under contract to 20 th century Fox. Marilyn under the direction of Joseph L. Mankiewicz starred with Bette Davis, Ann Baxter, Celeste Holmes and George Sanders in the movie "All about Eve" This role and the feedback from the audience of this movie triggered a wave of "celebrity building" at the studio. The images below are are are an interesting point of reference showing how Marilyn's image was built up and crafted by the studio. Marilyn was 26 years old, when these pictures were taken.


PR Effort Supporting All about Eve: Marilyn in White Fox


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(These are all HQ images click on thumbnail to full size image)


In the first promotional picture Marilyn is in the white mink that she wore in the movie "All about Eve".The fur in this case is one her opposite shoulder forming a boundary, otherwise in this pose you can not see a dress or gown. Her ungloved hand points to her uncovered shoulder. Her gaze is directly into the camera and her arched eyebrows convey energy and interest. In the next two pictures, white fox has replaced white mink. Here Marilyn is in a black strapless gown wearing opera length black gloves, the strong contrast between the full textured soft fox stole and the black dress, emphasizes her bust and also contrasts with her naked shoulder. Marilyn 's hair is swept up and the cascading waves of her lightened but not yet bleached platinum hair almost creates a tiara effect. In the third image Marilyn is wearing a gown with thin spaghetti straps the soft collar of fur surrounds her body but remains slightly "open" in front also accenting her bust. In the final promotional image Marilyn is wearing a black dress and black opera length gloves. The full fox stole precedes and emphasizes her bust by means of the white dark contrast. In this image Marilyn's hair is more page boy style complemented by pendant earrings.



other print media picked up the second image

The first image was chosen by Photoplay magazine as part of its in depth coverage of Marilyn in her role in All about Eve.


Filmography Marilyn Monroe : Rapid ascent 1950 - 1952

1950 /The Asphalt Jungle /Angela Phinlay /John Huston

1950 /All About Eve /Miss Claudia Caswell /Joseph L. Mankiewicz

1951 /Love Nest /Roberta Stevens /Joseph M. Newman

1951 /Let's Make It Legal /Joyce Mannering /Richard Sale

1951 /Home Town Story /Iris Martin /Arthur Pierson

1951 /As Young as You Feel /Harriet /Harman Jones

1952 /O. Henry's Full House /Streetwalker /Henry Koster


O' Henry's Full House Marilyn as Streetwalker with a Black Mink Muff

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Streetwalker_o_henry.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Streetwalker_marilyn_o_henry_.jpg[/image]

Probably some symbolic association between the muff and the role but I NOT going to speculate.


Cheers - Roninphy

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Oh, boy! Here we go again! Roninphy treated us to a wonderful pictorial and tribute to Jayne Mansfield, and if this is anything like his last contribution, we are in for a treat! Marilyn Monroe is the very definition of what is meant by an icon. She was the very epitome of sex, and she used fur to its fullest potential in making her perhaps the biggest and most beautiful sex symbol of all time. Thank you, Roninphy! You're off to a great start!

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From White mink to White Fox

Marilyn was invited to be a presenter at the Academy Awards Show in 1951

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Marilyn_Monroe_academy_awards_1951_.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Marilyn_Monroe_Oscar_presentation_.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Academy_Awards_1951.jpg[/image]

Marilyn was 24 years old when these pictures were taken. Note the off the shoulder gown prominent uncovered neck line and upper torso, this was quite racy in a formal setting for 1951 America.


Moving into Mainstream Hollywood

Monroe enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles studying literature and art appreciation, and appeared in several minor films playing opposite such long-established performers as Mickey Rooney, Constance Bennett, June Allyson, Dick Powell and Claudette Colbert.

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Marilyn__dark_goat_coat_.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Mikey_Rooney_and_Marilyn_.jpg[/image]


Marilyn Monroe Filmography 1952


1952/ O. Henry's Full House/ Streetwalker /Henry Koster

1952 / Monkey Business / Lois Laurel /Howard Hawks

1952 / Clash by Night / Peggy /Fritz Lang

1952/ We're Not Married!/ Anabel Norris / Edmund Goulding

1952 / Don't Bother to Knock/ Nell Forbes/ Roy Baker


The period of 1952 - 1953 represented time of enormous growth in the visibility of Marilyn Monroe . She worked with some of the greatest talents in the industry including Directors Howard Hawks , Fritz Lang (Yes Worker - Indeed The Fritz Lang!) Interestingly, celebrity appearance photographs of Marilyn during 1950-1951 show her either with black fox furs or occasionally black long haired goat. Marilyn also wore natural brown mink, even up to the release of All about Eve.


Marilyn in Black Fox: A trip to the Dark Side at the Premiere of Don't Bother to Knock

marilyndbtk4ew0.th.jpg marilynmonroeblackstolexg3.th.jpg ovalblackfoxeo1.th.jpg marilyncandid1952in6.th.jpg


These images above are from the premier of Don't Bother to Knock in 1952

Marilyn played a disturbed babysitter in a kind of foreshadowing of 1980's evil babysitter genre. Theer is a lot of interesting detail in these HQ images.

The first image is a black on black affair, Marilyn is wearing an embroidered strapless gown with a black silk base. The soft/ rough texture transition both on the gown and between the thick black spikes of her fox fur and her gown, all serves to emphasizes her uncovered neckline plunging to the top of her bust. Image No 2 is apparently the first meeting between Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. (Gable was a childhood idol of Marilyn's.) Notice her rapt attention and body language - left shoulder down, black fox stole not encircling her torso but rather acting as the boundary of her projecting bust. This dark fur, worn with a strapless gown,is "bad girl" territory but not necessarily all the way to "femme fatal". Notice that she wears long black gloves (more apparent in the last image.)


Marilyn would ebulliently embrace white fox in the next phase of her movie career but she would continue to wear elegant Black Fox in her celebrity appearances and work role as a producer between 1956 - and 1960 .

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Creating the White Fox Icon in Furs


How to Marry a Millionarie represents an inflection point in Marilyn's increasing popularity. In this movie Marilyn would wear natural mink collar and a leopard fur collar, the appearances and publicity surrounding the film would forever engrain the image of Marilyn as sex symbol wraped in soft luxerois and exuberant white fox.


Indeed Some of the most the most enduring images of Marilyn Monroe, are series portraits taken by Frank Powolony in the period between 1952 and 1953.

Take these pictures almost anywhere on earth, today in 2008 and people will instantly identify the image of Marilyn Monroe.

The images are stunningly beautiful, and most are HQ black and white although some of the poses were captured in early color.


Note the bare shoulder new white fox stole and more tightly curled blonde but not yet pure platinum hair.


The poses above are a distillation of a number of axes of powerful symbols, they are derived from early movie goddess poses of Jean Harlow and from a refinement of Marilyn's image in the crucible of Hollywood that was constrained by a censor code. Culturally in America great changes were underway, the baby boom was on, returning veterans from WWII and Korea had seen more of the world and now had discretionary income that could be used for movies and print media. It is not accidental that Playboy magazine was launched in 195 . Not surprisingly Marilyn Monroe was the first Centerfold.


Early starlet pictures show the trend



The Jean Harlow connection

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Type_and_Arch_type_lg.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Type_and_Archtype_2_.jpg[/image]


The first image above is surprising in the degree of fidelity to the original Harlow image. Notice the black arching eyebrows, the full lips (Harlow made up more bee sting style) Marilyn's lips appear more rounded and sensual being partially opened. The hair is platinum blonde, with Marilyn having a more bodied frontal flip. Monroe is left shoulder forward allowing the mirabou to dip downward into shadow, if she is wearing a gown or dress you can not see it. Harlow is left shoulder forward draping the mirabou boa over her upper arm. With this degree of parallelism Marilyn is literally stepping into Harlow's image. However Marilyn's face is fully but diffusely illuminated and her eyes are more hooded and sensual. Harlow eyes are looking ahead at a slight angle,hollowed by dark eyeshadow and a direct gaze . You know what she has and what she wants . In some of the prints Marilyn has the quintessential "after sex" cigarette in her left upraised hand (some prints it is not there). The reclining sirens repeats the same motifs with Harlow partially exposing her bare left breast with the framing mirabou symbolically "open". This is not a Femme fatale this is a goddess of love ( sex?) pose.


Frank Powolny Distills " The image"


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_FP_MM__1953_6.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_FP_MM__1953_7.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_FP_MM__1953_8.jpg[/image]


(Click on image above to see full size image NB THESE ARE LARGE HQ Files !)


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_FP_MM__1953_9.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_FP_MM__1953_10.jpg[/image]


Come Hither : Marilyn Beckons!



OMG this just Knocks my socks off!!

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Yes indeed... The last creation was unbelievable! And these are just as good. It is not only the photos collected but the description of those photos and how they fit into the whole creation.


This is unbelievable! Keep up the great work Roninphy!


Folks I really hope you will take the time to say a huge thank you here again.


People there is more to this site than just coming to visit. We do not require you to contribute as a sponsor, but hope you do. It is not compulsory though. We do not charge you to see our links area or our photo collection in our Gallery. We do not require you to post links. We do not require you to post pictures in our Gallery.


Folks it is extremely important that you post in our forums or the forums of other sites, if you want to see these sites continue. Yes, you can come and not post now? But do you want to see creations like these by Roninphy in the future? Or those of Brandy? If you do, you have better let these folks know how much you appreciate their work by taking a short few minutes to post about this, or tell us your thoughts on other topics on the forums here or on the fur sites. Because if you don't, in the future you may be wondering why there are no fur sites left to go to.


We are giving you a free "fur home" to relax in! If you want to be able to relax here or in other fur sites in the future you need to post in the forums and not just read. Let people know your thoughts, etc. In other words, "Participate". Or else, take the alternative. Be sitting at home in the future with no fur oriented sites to go to wishing that you had!


That folks is reality! Folks like Brandy and Roninphy do not expect much. We do not expect much on our site. But all of us do hope you will participate! These folks do so much work on these sites. Not only our's but Mikhails. Cookie's FFG. Mad Man Fox. The sites of Brandy and Dragon. etc. etc. etc. The least you can do is say thanks and participate! Let us know if you are even alive!


***Roninphy, thanks so much for your work here. I cannot even imagine how much work it would be to create threads like these!

White Fox

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Thank you White Fox and FrBrGr for your kind comments .


Marilyn Monroe is a fascinating figure, and a potent culture symbol even today. This is something I enjoy working on but it does take time.

Because I keep finding more things to post I will be backfilling and expanding previous posts.


Keep visiting and feel free to comment .

Cheers Roninphy



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This is great work! Thank You!!! I adore Marilyn in Fur, I wish that She would have worn more Full Length Coats of Fox and Sable, but the stole was the fashion of that era.

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Powerful Artistry in Image Creation : Marilyn Monroe in Photoplay


Early color photography in the 1950's was not well matched to color printing in mass market print media in many case the color has gone off in the prints. Fortunately some dedicated enthusiasts are recreating the original color images using a variety of techniques. Here are some very nice example from the Frank Powolny sets

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_FP_1953_c01.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_FP_1953_c02.jpg[/image][image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_FP_1953_c00.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Marilyn_colorized_white_fox09.jpg[/image]

The fourth image above is colorized , that is hand tinted or shaded with color media or digitally reprocessed in photoshop or similar software.


Cover model color images

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/MM_FP_1953_c03.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/Marilyn__Modern_Screen_.jpg[/image]


In an age when color TV had not been invented and most films were still produced in black and white these color images were immensely popular and effective in selling mass print media AND in building celebrity images.


Photoplay Awards Marilyn has arrived !

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/golden_dress.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_photoplay_awardgolden.jpg[/image]

Marilyn receives Photoplay magazines New Star Award for 1952 " for most rapid rise to stardom 1952"


Photoplay Award for Marilyn in 1952 and 1954

Beginning in 1920, and preceding the establishment of the Oscar's Photoplay Magazine gave out what is considered the first significant annual movie award, the Photoplay Medal of Honor (later Gold Medal). An actual medallion produced by Tiffany & Co., it was voted on by the readers of the magazine and given to the producer of the year's best film, chosen with an emphasis on "the ideals and motives governing its production... the worth of its dramatic message."

Though Photoplay originally only gave the single award for best film, its intentions and standards were influential on the Academy Awards founded later in the decade, and they overlap on Best Picture choices to some extent, though increasingly in the 1930s Photoplay's choices reflected its primarily female audience. By 1939 the Medal of Honor had declined in importance and the award was discontinued that year. In 1944 the awards were revived in a new format in which awards for both the film of the year and the most popular stars were determined by the Gallup Poll company. Bing Crosby and Greer Garson were frequently named the most popular film stars during the 1940s and 1950's winners of the title included Alan Ladd, Marilyn Monroe, Rock Hudson, and Kim Novak. In 1977 and 1978, The Photoplay Awards were broadcast on network television as variety specials.


How to Marry a Millionaire






In this film Marilyn was one of the characters that wore fur- usually a small mink collar ( see top image with Bette Grable)

In keeping with visual hierarchy of star status ( in 1952) notice that in the final scene of the movie Lauren Bacall ( the biggest star ) is wearing a full mink coat. Marilyn is wearing her glasses and a mink collar. In the top panel Tom has calmly announced to everyone in the party that he is a millionaire, to the raucous disbelief of the others. Tom proceeds to pay for everyone's meal with a 100 dollar bill, telling the counterman to "Keep the Change". The dawning recognition of this "proof of claim" is suddenly visible on the face of Bacall and Marilyn Monroe.


German Lobby Card advert poster How to Marry a Millionaire




Color production still from HTMM with Marilyn wearing a sapphire mink collar, Lauren Bacall's luxurious mink is on the bed.



Screen Captures of Marilyn in white Fox from HTMM


Mysterious Stranger at the Door


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Wf_HTMM_04.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Wf_HTMM_06.jpg[/image]


White fox stole ... in the kitchen !



[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Wf_HTMM_08.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Wf_HTMM_10.jpg[/image]

( click on images above to see full size image)

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This is great work! Thank You!!! I adore Marilyn in Fur, I wish that She would have worn more Full Length Coats of Fox and Sable, but the stole was the fashion of that era.

You are quite welcome Maddie. I agree that Marilyn would have been outstanding in Sable. Perhaps later I will do some FMF ( Fantasy Model in Furs ) images along these lines. Yet to come are a host of Marilyn images in a full black mink coat, Mocha mink coat, Chinchilla coat , and sensuous blue fox.

Stay tuned !



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The Premiere of How to Marry A Millionaire


An Exuberance of Marilyn and White Fox!


(Click on images below to see full size image)

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_HTMM_Marilyn_wht_fox_00.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_0.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_HTMM_Marilyn_wht_fox_11.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_radio_interview_.jpg[/image]

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_HTMM_Marilyn_wht_fox_12.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_HTMM_Marilyn_wht_fox_03.jpg[/image][image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_HTMM_Marilyn_wht_fox_02.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_HTMM_P_4.jpg[/image]


Marilyn Makes the A list: Hanging with Bogart and Bacall


A sparkling Marilyn Monroe joins Bogart and Bacall for the premiere screening of" How to Marry a Millionaire"


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Monroe_Bogart___Bacall__02.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Monroe_Bogart___Bacall__01.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Monroe_Bogart___Bacall__00.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/fmf__MIllionaire_premiere_film_cap.jpg[/image]


Marilyn Monroe in an early color film taken at the premiere




Marilyn Monroe was 27 years old when these pictures were taken.


Cheers Roninphy

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Thanks Worker! High praise indeed.


Marilyn as A Sex Goddess: The platinum blonde bombshell image reflected in Art.


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/_MM_1953_ART_00.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_1953_ART_02.jpg[/image]

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_1953_ART_03.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_1953_ART_04.jpg[/image]


The second and third images are by Romy. The last image image is a luminous portrait of a young Marilyn in white fox by imaginee


Mailer on Monroe


Marilyn was deliverance, a very Stradivarius of sex , so gorgeous forgiving , humorous, compliant and tender that even the most mediocre musician would relax his lack of art in the dissolving magic of her violin.... "Marilyn Monroe's sex " said the smile of the young star will meet every human need."


-Norman Mailer from his book Marilyn


All of these images are an homage to the Frank Powolny white fox series.


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A Success in Gentleman Prefer Blondes


"Her next film was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) co-starring Jane Russell and directed by Howard Hawks. Playing Lorelei Lee, a gold-digging showgirl, her role required her to sing and dance. The two stars became friends, with Russell describing Monroe as "very shy and very sweet and far more intelligent than people gave her credit for". [1] She later recalled that Monroe showed her dedication by rehearsing her dance routines well into the evening after most of the crew had left, but was habitually late on set for filming. Realizing that Monroe remained in her dressing room due to stage fright, and that Hawks was growing impatient with her tardiness, Russell started escorting her to the set.[2].

(Wikipedia Marilyn Monroe : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe accessed 11/02/08)


Stardom confirmed, Visiting Grauman's Chinese Theater


At the Los Angeles premiere of the film, Monroe and Russell pressed their hand- and foot prints in the cement in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Monroe received positive reviews and the film grossed more than double its production costs.[3] Her rendition of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" became associated with her."

(Wikipedia Marilyn Monroe : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe accessed 11/02/08)

Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe and Charles Coburn starred in this very popular popular musical comedy that featured Marilyn singing "Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend". The Russell Monroe, song and dance team performed some of the most riveting musical dance numbers of the time. The film was quite successful earning more than twice its production costs in US ticket sales.


In "Gentleman Prefer Blondes " Jane Russell demonstrates the subtle visual signals of Hollywood's star dominance hierachy

A careful study of the production stills also provides an insight into the studios way of visually communicating "Top Dog"status. The following image sequence from the movie may be analyzed symbolically examining the relationship between Russell and Monroe


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_GPB_OnSet_MM_JR_01.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_marilynmonroe_15942.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_lorelei14.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_jr_GPB.jpg[/image]


The images above are production stills from Gentleman Prefer Blondes directed by Howard Hawkes . It is intriguing that when the two stars are together it is Jane Russell who always has the fur most particularly, fox fur whereas Marilyn is only allowed to wear leopard fur trim. I am taken by the body language of Jane Russell in the second image above upthrust hip and right hand on her everted black fox fur stole. (Interesting that Jane Russell was paid $100,000 for her role whereas Marilyn the contract star received $10,000)


Lorelei shows a predatory side while wearing leopard fur.

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Lorelei_1_.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Loreli_2_.jpg[/image][image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Lorelei_in_leopard.jpg[/image]


Jane Russel has the power fur in color


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_165.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_gpblondes_064.jpg[/image]

(Click on images above to see full size image)


Filmography 1953-1954


1953 /Niagara /Rose Loomis /Henry Hathaway

1953 /Gentlemen Prefer Blondes /Lorelei Lee /Howard Hawks

1953 /How to Marry a Millionaire /Pola Debevoise /Jean Negulesco

1954 /River of No Return /Kay Weston /Otto Preminger

1954 /There's No Business Like Show Business /Vicky /Walter Lang



[1] Russell, Jane (1986). An Autobiography. Arrow Books, London. ISBN 0-09-949590-2. p 137

[2] ibid p138


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Marilyn - Unforgettable singing "Diamonds are a Girl's best Friend"


As usual, Miss Monroe looks as though she would glow in the dark, and her version of the baby-faced blonde whose eyes open for diamonds and close for kisses is always amusing as well as alluring ~New York Herald Tribune


Publicity shots for Gentleman Prefer Blondes feature Marilyn in white fox and hot diamonds.

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Marilyn_Monroe_DAGBF_.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Marilyn_Monroe_DAGBF_still.jpg[/image][image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_97765_mm_030_122_692lo.jpg[/image]

(Click on images above to see image full size)


Additional Press reviews about Marilyns performance in "Gentleman prefer Blondes"


As Lorelei Lee, Marilyn looks as delectable as a ripe peach. She also surprises with a remarkably stylish voice piping "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in a lavish production number ~Los Angeles Citizen News


The Studio PR machines refinement of Marilyn sexy " blonde in furs" image and the increasing resonance of Marilyn = sex symbol, would create problems for Marilyn's private life.

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This is great work! Thank You!!! I adore Marilyn in Fur, I wish that She would have worn more Full Length Coats of Fox and Sable, but the stole was the fashion of that era.


Well Maddie they are not sable - How about dark mink?


Marilyn Black mink sequence




Marilyn when she was traveling often wore a full length mink as these three examples show in sequence


Marilyn as a good will Ambassador -wearing mink

"In 1959, during Richard Nixon's visit to the Soviet Union, Khrushchev took part in what later became known as the Kitchen Debate. Khrushchev reciprocated the visit that September, spending thirteen days in the United States. On his visit Khrushchev had two requests: to visit Disneyland and to meet John Wayne, Hollywood's top box-office draw. Due to the Cold War tension and security concerns, he was famously denied an excursion to Disneyland.


On his California visit, the Soviet leader got a show of American consumerism and the American way of life. This marked the first time a Soviet leader set foot on U.S. soil. But he was annoyed that the main event of his first day was a lunch with 300 movie stars and other celebrities and a visit to the set of the movie Can-Can at 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles, rather than an inspection of an aerospace plant." (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikita_Khrushchev accessed 11/12/08)


Perhaps a minor consolation was being greated by Marilyn Monroe in Mink?





More Marilyn in dark mink images are posted in the Gallery

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Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio


Joe DiMaggio was intrigued when he saw a picture of Marilyn Monroe with two baseball players. Through friends in Hollywood he arranged for an introduction.

Marilyn began to attract national non movie related print media attention. She " made her first appearance on the cover of Life in April 1952, where she was described as "The Talk of Hollywood". [1] Stories of her childhood and upbringing portrayed her in a sympathetic light; a cover story for the May 1952 edition of True Experiences magazine showed a smiling and wholesome Monroe beside a caption that read, "Do I look happy? I should — for I was a child nobody wanted. A lonely girl with a dream — who awakened to find that dream come true. I am Marilyn Monroe. Read my Cinderella story." [2] It was also during this time that she began dating the baseball player, Joe DiMaggio. A photograph of DiMaggio visiting Monroe at the 20th Century Fox studio, was printed in newspapers.

( Wikipedia Marilyn Monroe : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe )


"Monroe wrote in My Story that she initially did not want to meet him, fearing a stereotypical jock. However after meeting Di Maggio, Marilyn admitted she was strongly attracted to him. They eloped on January 14, 1954, and were married at San Francisco City Hall in a private civil ceremony.


Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe civil wedding San Francisco




Marilyn and Joe visit Japan


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Marilyn_in_Japan_Joe_D_b%2Bw_.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Travel_japan2.jpg[/image][image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/MM_Travel_japan3.jpg[/image]


Marilyn Agrees to Rally the Troops in Korea

During their honeymoon in Japan, Marilyn was asked to visit Korea and perform for the troops. She performed ten shows over four days for over 100,000 servicemen. Biographers have noted that DiMaggio, who stayed in Japan, was not at all pleased with his wife's decision during what he wanted to be an intimate trip." ( Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe)


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_54323995sh8.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Korea_2.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Korea_1.jpg[/image]

(Large images HQ Click on image above to see full size image)

Marilyn in fur collar whips up morale for Allied troops in Korea


A bemused Joe Dimaggio takes a back seat to Marilyn upon their arrival in San Francisco




Marilyn is holding a magnificent dark mink coat, wearing a big cat fur collar and a brushed black velvet bolero top. She is holding rather than wearing gloves. Joe appear to be a little uncertain about being second fiddle to Marilyn.


Joe DiMaggio would object to Marilyn's participation in the famous subway gating air blast 'skirt in air " scene, perhaps the most memorable of all in The Seven Year itch.Tensions between the two were evident on the set of the Seven Year Itch including a very heated and public argument with her about that scene on the set of The seven year itch. Recently retired from baseball," Gentleman "Joe DiMaggio had great difficulty accepting Marilyn's highly visible film career and celebrity status. Her increasing visibility as the sex symbol of the mid to late 1950's really bothered him. Disagreements about the demands of Marilyn's increasing celebrity status led to a divorce




[1] Evans, Mike (2004). Marilyn: The Ultimate Book. MQ Publications. ASIN B000FL52LG.

[2] ibid

[3]Churchwell, Sarah (2004). The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe. Metropolitan Books. ISBN 0-8050-7818-5.

[4] Summers, Anthony (1985). Goddess, The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe. Guild Publishing, London. ISBN 0-575-03641-9.

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Marilyn's return to the limelight after her divorce from Joe DiMaggio


Photoplay award Again in 1954 !

Marilyn's popularity with the movie watching public led to her being voted the Photoplay award for 1954 Alan Ladd received the honor for actors. This sequence of images shows the Marilyn in an iconic display of platinum blond hair and bodacious luxurious white fox.

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MMphotoplay_1954_01.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MMphotoplay_1954_03.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MMphotoplay_1954_05.jpg[/image]

(click on images above to see full sized image)

The second and third images above are large HQ images. The Photoplay award was a gold medallion made by Tiffany and company of New York. In the last image Marilyn appears quite alluring with her white fox stole accentuating her bust.


AP Wirephoto and typed copy


The typed photo caption copy is very interesting placing this event as the return to the public following her divorce from DiMaggio.


Color images of the 1954 gala event

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MMphotoplay_1954_07.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/MMphotoplay_1954_pstern_08.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Photoplay_Phil_Stern.jpg[/image]


The first image is a HQ large original color photograph,of Marilyn and Milton Greene the second image shows Marilyn's gown as a shimmering silver confection complemented by her full white fox stole. Milton Greene , a photographer and entrepreneur would take some of the most natural and appealing photographic images ever of Marilyn Monroe. After Frank Powolny, Milton Greene would arguably be the most influential photographer whose work would shape Marilyn's image. Monroe and Greene would later form Marilyn Monroe productions.


"Greene had first met Monroe in 1953 when he was assigned to photograph her for Look magazine. While many photographers tried to emphasize her sexy image, Greene presented her in more modest poses, and she was pleased with his work. As a friendship developed between them, she confided in him her frustration with her 20th Century Fox contract, and the roles she was offered. Her salary for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes amounted to $10,000, while freelancer Jane Russell was paid more than $100,000. Greene suggested that she could earn more by breaking away from 20th Century Fox. He gave up his job in 1954, mortgaged his home to finance Monroe, and allowed her to live with his family as together they determined the future course of her career." (Wikipedia Marilyn Monroe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe accessed 11/17/08)


In New York ,Truman Capote introduced Monroe to Constance Collier, who gave her acting lessons. She felt that Monroe was not well suited to stage acting, but possessed a "lovely talent" that was "so fragile and subtle, it can only be caught by the camera". Sadly after only a few weeks of lessons, Collier died. Fortunately Monroe had met Paula Strasberg and her daughter Susan on the set of There's No Business Like Show Business, and had previously said that she would like to study with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. In March 1955, Monroe met with Cheryl Crawford, one of the founders of the Actors Studio, and convinced her to introduce her to Lee Strasberg, who interviewed her the following day, and agreed to accept her as a student. This would also connect Marilyn with rising star Marlon Brando who liked Marilyn immensely and had a long term friendship with her.



Marilyn Monroe Filmography 1953-1954


1953 /Niagara /Rose Loomis /Henry Hathaway

1953 /Gentlemen Prefer Blondes /Lorelei Lee /Howard Hawks

1953 /How to Marry a Millionaire /Pola Debevoise /Jean Negulesco

1954 /River of No Return /Kay Weston /Otto Preminger

1954 /There's No Business Like Show Business /Vicky /Walter Lang


In the River of No Return directed by Otto Preminger, Marilyn played a dance hall girl co starring with Robert Mitchum and child star Tommy Rettig. While Marilyn wore sequins and feathers in River of No Return she did not wear furs as far as I know.During the filming Marilyn became friends with Tommy Rettig. In the pictures below she accompanied Tommy Rettig to the premier of his first headline acting role in the 5000 fingers of Dr T. see (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045464/plotsummary)

Marilyn was always aware of and very kind to her younger male admirers. Rettig's most memorable role would be as fame the boy in Lassie (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046617/) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045464/plotsummary)


(Collage is from http://www.marilynmonroecollection.com/TheFoxCuffs.htm)


Marilyn wears white fox cuff to advantage in this series of photo's!


1954's There is No business like Show Business was a platform to showcase Marilyn a musical setting where she would both sing and dance.

Again, I think her use of her use of furs in the movie is limited ( I don't have access to a copy to check, but feathers and sequins is what I remember). Looking at the next series of promotional images from TNBLSB there is a strong case to be made that Marilyn's screen image and public personna or image were beginning to fuse together.




[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_colorcost01.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_NBLSB.jpg[/image]


More to follow .....

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A New York Frame of Mind : The Rose Tattoo Premier & Actors Benefit 1955


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Rosetattoo_1955_01.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Rosetattoo_1955_02.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Rosetattoo_1955_05.jpg[/image]


Marilyn in the spotlight at the Rose Tattoo benefit premier




[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Rosetattoo_1955_09.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Rosetattoo_1955_10.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Rosetattoo_1955_07.jpg[/image]


( click on images above to see full size image)



The expression on Marilyn's face is noteworthy and the intensity of press interest is evident


Marilyn and the press photographers



Marilyn is drawing her luxurious white fox stole to her chest emphasizing her bare shoulders (except for very thin black spaghetti straps) She appears enthralled by the attention.



( Large image : to see full size image click on image above)

Very large MQ image of Marilyn wearing white fox, notice her exuberant expression and the way she use the white fox fur to outline and accentuate her hourglass figure. Marilyn's shoulders are subtley thrown back to further emphasize her bust.


Marilyn observed by Jayne Mansfield

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Rosetattoo_1955_30.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_Rosetattoo_1955_31.jpg[/image]

( click on images above to see full sized image)

The image on the right has been colorized in photoshop or equivalent software. Notice Jayne's intense scrutiny of Marilyn. Jayne is wearing a pastel mink stole in contrast to the exuberant white fox stole worn by Marilyn (not visible in this image).

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Marilyn and Mink in Parallel with Platinum Blond and White Fox


Previous post in this thread have concentrated on Marilyn 's public image particularly as a platinum blond bombshell wearing white fox.

As I have researched for this thread I have discovered many new images of Marilyn in mink and a parallel (if not equally visible story) of Marilyn wearing mink has begun to emerge.


Stepping out of chronological sequence it is interesting to consider the story and symbology of Marilyn in mink.

Consider this UK edition of Photoplay from November of 1952. Here Marilyn is shown reclining with a soft mink (or who can say maybe Sable stole) over her covered but obviously notable bust . Marilyn's languid expression captures and personifies the so called "bedroom eyes "allure. Her red lipstick emphasizes her full lips and her hair is more strawberry blond rather than platinum blond.




Photographer Ed Clark has distilled this image even further yet at the same time has captured something of a vulnerable "little girl" in a woman's body



In the Clark image above Marilyn has bare shoulders suggesting that there is really nothing underneath that luxurious mink other than ... Marilyn !

(Whereas in the Photoplay cover above Marilyn has just a thin sliver of black lace above the fur to suggest that underneath she is wearing lingerie)

In the Clark image Marilyn's hand is above her cleavage seemingly pulling down, suggesting the fur is about to slide off and reveal the au natural Marilyn. She wears red lipstick as before but her smile makes them less prominent. her eyebrows are more nature in contour and less darkened then in her platinum blond white fox iconic image.


The dark mink /white fox dichotomy is apparent in this set of color magazine covers from 1952 - 1953. American media tended to pick up the white fox theme. The first cover is from photoplay UK.



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M. Bernard and Ed Clarke present Marilyn in Mink



A companion image to the previous color image from Clarke


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_mm_Bernard_1952_02.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_mm_Bernard_1952_03.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Marilyn_Monroe_coloradd.jpg[/image]

( click on images above to see full size image)

These images of Marilyn were shot by Bernard of Hollywood as for promotional use for "All about Eve"

The third image is colorized by the talented Brazilian photo artist Omar.


Embellishing and building the Marilyn in mink image


(click on images above to see full size image)



This fake composite catches the flavor of Tom Kelley's photoshoot's of Marilyn

Kelley shot the nude calendar photos that would embarrass the studio in 1949.

Several of those photos would be sold to Hugh Heffner and he would feature Marilyn as his "sweetheart" of the month, in the first issue of Playboy Magazine ever published.

Playmates of the Month came after the first issue of Playboy Magazine was published.


Marilyn in Mink would soon come to mean something altogether different in the hands of Milton Green.

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Thank you for your generous comment, Wallee.


This thread is becoming a bit more detailed than what I had I first imagined. I hope people will feel free to comment.

It is worth noting here that I am back filling when I find new images that demonstrated a point or seem significant. So keep coming back folks, I am adding new images almost every day.



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Marilyn captured through the lens of Frank Powolny







This collage is a kind of visual coda of the development of Marilyn as a cultural symbol. Frank Powolny staked out the early territory and established the link to Jean Harlow. His work presenting Marilyn in many poses and settings created multiple opportunities for Marilyn Monroes celebrity status to grow. Powolny working with Whitey Synder ( Marilyn's long time make up artist) created the early white fox sex goddesss image. However he also explored poses of Marilyn in dark mocha mink.


Next I would like to consider the relationship between Milton Greene and Marilyn Monroe as a Photographic subject.


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Marilyn Created through the lens of Milton Greene



The 1955 white mink series filmed in b+w

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_Marilyn_white_mink_greene_0.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_wht_mink_Greene___2.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_wht_mink_Greene___3.jpg[/image]

( click on Images above to reveal full size images)


The above series of psychologically revealing b+w portraits of Marilyn were taken by Milton Green in 1955. Greene had an ability to perceive Marilyn in many dimensions. Here I think he is looking for the woman behind the mink and captures three distinctly facets of her allure. The last image was one he would build on and refine in a series of color photographs that have remained popular and evocative to this day. I interpret Marilyn's expression and pose in these images to reveal her vulnerability and her native child like simplicity. Notice that the emphasis on her breasts and the fur frame that is present in so much of Polowny's earlier photographs is absent here . These are intimate images that present Marilyn as a woman (no longer a little girl in a woman's clothing). She is a sympathetic and appealing subject. This is intentional on Greene part he is naturalizing the established " Harlow" image with something new. These images are infused with a kind of lyrical softness rather than hard edged femme fatal image that screams SEX GODDESS.




In this later image Marilyn is "nude rather than naked " under her soft white mink, her bar legs convey the message of her allure but in a manner perhaps less immediate than bare shoulder white fox images seen earlier. I suspect there was a bit of the Pygmalion syndrome going on here.


Out of Studio images of Marilyn in white mink . These are not posed but are candids catching her in a moment of repose.


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_wht_mink_Greene___8.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_wht_mnk__app___8.jpg[/image]


( Careful the first image is rather large !click on images above to see full size originals)

Do you see the position Marilyn's hand in the first image? I think she is she is unconsciously stroking the soft mink collar, almost as if she finds it reassuring or pleasing at a deeper level. The gloves so much a part of her earlier fur image are not to be seen allowing Marilyn to directly run her fingers over the mink. In the last image she has fallen asleep, her relaxed expression framed on both sides by the gentle flaring of her white mink collar.


Lyrical Color Images of Marilyn in White mink


[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_wht_mnk_Greene_cl___2.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_wht_mnk_Greene_cl___3.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_wht_mnk_Greene_cl___4.jpg[/image]

( click on images above to see full size image)


Marilyn's classic portrait large image and contemporary artistic reinterpretation

[image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MarilynMonroewm.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_wht_mnk__Greene_c___5.jpg[/image] [image]http://thefurden.com/cpgfd/albums/userpics/10364/normal_MM_wht_mink_Greene_c_art_1.jpg[/image]


(click on images above to see full size image) The last two images are artistic interpretations or representations of Marilyn's transformation via the lens of Milton Greene. The fact that contemporary artists return to this image of Marilyn suggests that indeed there is something telling about or evocative about the white mink series


``What she has, this presence, this luminosity, this flickering intelligence ... (is) so fragile and subtle, it can only be caught by the camera. It's like a hummingbird in flight,''

- Constance Collier Famous Acting Coach who worked briefly with Marilyn Monroe


"In her, the public also found a riddle of baffling contradictions. Her eyes conveyed an insecurity along with a need - a despairing hope - of being loved. When she was most alluring Marilyn seemed almost oblivious to the bombshell desirability of her body. At other times, she strutted around in her skin like it was a fur coat, made ecstatic by the mere touch of air on her glowing limbs. " - Carl Rollyson in Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress




[1] Carl E. Rollyson. Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress

Published by Da Capo Press, 1993

ISBN 0306805421, 9780306805424





Cheers Roninphy

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Oh my God..!


That collection of Marylin photos in fur is amazing... " title="Applause" /> " title="Applause" /> " title="Applause" /> " title="Applause" /> " title="Applause" /> " title="Applause" /> " title="Applause" /> " title="Applause" /> " title="Applause" /> " title="Applause" />


wow oh wow.... I am humbled by such images and i am totally in awe of the collection..


thankyou so much



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